on Malachi

chapter 1 vv.1–5
Life may be hard, but see the waste
in Edom, realise
the love and grace of God you taste
so undeserved, though he applies
a chastening rod; – but Edom scorns
repentance – on their own
determine to rebuild – God warns
his anger will be known.

Half–hearted worship,
blemished gifts,
contemptuous, contemptible:
God sees and he sifts.
His name will be honoured
throughout every land,
not tricked, always knowing
all that you intend.

chapter 2 vv.1–9
The covenant with Levi as priest,
was revere
the Lord God almighty,
and teach what is clear
and true, and
walk in uprightness and peace,
and many encourage
from sin’s ways to cease.

But now many stumble, –
not taught in God’s way.

So – the priests’ blessings crumble,
God rebukes them, he’ll humble,
and, unless they return,
his word no more spurn,
and follow his way,
impartial again,
– he’ll bring to them shame,
and his curses will stay.

chapter 2 vv.10–16
There should be unity, respect,
– for all claim God as Father:
his covenant some now reject,
break faith with one another,
in marrying foreign, heathen wives
who do not follow in God’s way,
nor honour him, his Word obey.

What good are tears, if no sincere
concern about known sin?
And marriage is a covenant dear –
to keep its vow begin
in guarding well your spirit’s thought,
and may your union give
a place where children can be taught
in godliness to live.

chapter 2:17–3:6
“Where is the God of justice?” – they say.
“God must be pleased with evil-doers, for
he’s not prevented
their ways perverted.”

Cynicism, sarcasm,
excuses, accusing,
and whining, complaining:
God weary.

Will they be ready for refining?
He does not change, and he is coming.
Waiting now, and giving warning
– a messenger will come preparing.

chapter 3:6–16
Deserving destruction,
half–hearted devotion,
with envy of evil that thrives.
Return with affection,
to end your affliction.
Return with the whole of your tithes;
the Lord does not change, his promise is sure,
his covenant mercy has proven secure.

But those who truly feared the Lord,
talked of him, gave him honour:
the Lord was pleased with what he heard,
and counted them his treasure.
And on his scroll their names were stored.
It will be seen who truly serves.

chapter 4
A coming day of burning for
the wicked who can’t bear
the Lord almighty’s glorious presence, –
he will destroy their arrogance.

When Christ in righteousness appears
on that great day,
each one who now his name reveres,
respects his Word:
in fullest joy, release, delight,
and healing in his glorious light.

‘Elijah’ comes before that day
to turn and to prepare
those who will hear and come God’s way,
else curse the land will bear.

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